Sunday, January 14, 2007

Sex Toys

So, I have lots of girlfriends who have come over to South Korea in varying states of disarray. I still can't understand the girls who manage to get in country without any form of self stimulation other then the hand. I mean really, in this day an age do people really not travel with dildos and vibrators?

I remember when I was first packing to leave for South Korea and the vibrator was the first thing I packed. And also unpacked when I realized I still had a few days to go before I left the country, but it ended up in the suitcase in the end. Aside from the fact that it plugged into the wall I was only delayed from my self satisfaction for a grand total of about three days before I got the power converter I needed to get myself off. No, I won't explain all of this in more detail, if you know me you've heard my long drawn out vibrator story and I'll tell it again some other time. Today, we are talking about girls sans sex toys.

I do understand leaving the country and forgetting to pack things but really the odd number of girls here who are desperate for a mechanical stimulation is really surprising. Me, trying to be consoling shared some Susie Bright wisdom and recommended some handy, cheap, and easily available produce. And while this is certainly an option it is difficult to overcome those taboos of horti-phila and truly let oneself go with a banana. I understand this which is why I volunteered yet again to head to the local Korean love shop and pick up something for the less fortunate.

I've been to sex shops in Korea a few times and it's always an amusing experience. The shops here have yellow windows with red lettering, and while most claim to be open 24 hours I've yet to find that to be true in many cases.

For this particular sex shop visit I decided to hit a couple that are close to where I live, having not been in yet. These are fairly easy to get to and almost even discreet and since they were on the way to the party I was headed towards anyway I figured what the hell. I got all dressed up and set out for a nice walk and a few blocks later found myself in front of one of the two shops. This one was closed so I head to cross the street for the second. Checking the door showed me that it was in fact open so I pushed the door and headed in.

Inside it was tiny. Like walk in closet tiny. There was no sales person present but a set of stairs lead up and I figured the perverted purveyor was reposing somewhere out of sight. I started to look around trying to keep in mind the friends needs and what she might even remotely be interest in.

Okay, so aside from the fact that this sex shop had no salesperson there to assist and was really tiny there was something else that was a little unusual about it. It was ancient. Like circa 1970's America sex toy ancient. I know collectors who would think they had died and gone to heaven. These toys were so old that I worried some of the silicone might crumble under fingers when touched and god forbid lubed up for the intended purpose. It was like the little sex shop that could. At some point it had decided to open and remain open, occasionally adding a new toy, but never emptying out the old ones.

After the initial shock of the age of the toys wore off I was able to seriously look at the functional more modern selection (maybe early to mid 90's) and find something that looked like it might be reasonable for my friend. I had asked prior to coming for a price range that could not be breached and was given the maximum goal of 30 thousand. With that in mind I made a mental note of which four toys I would price and called out a "yogio" to get the store manger to come running.

Alas, there was no store manager. Okay, I went to the stairs. The stairs ended in the ceiling. Right. No upstairs. Okay. I checked the glass cabinets. All open, not locked. I reached in and grabbed the number one toy that I was sure would do the trick and looked for a price. Nothing but a "1680" which is possibly the year in which this toy was constructed. Okay, I looked around some more and at that point had the epiphany. No where, and I mean but no where in the states could one walk around a store that sold this much filth and expect not to be monitored either on camera, by the NSA, or at least by a tattoo covered shop manager checking your ID. And certainly in few of these instances would the shop be not only unmanned but everything unlocked. It was just a little freaky. I could slip that dildo into my bag and walk out a humming on my way and in Korea no one would think any the wiser. And hey why not? But no, I believe in supporting and promoting the wholesale of sexual goods and thereby wish to support the few places in Korea where I know I can get said goods.

I looked around a bit more and then I found a phone number. Cell phone, right. I called the number and got a gruff "Yoboseyo?" Hello. I said back. I'm in the shop. Shop. Here, shop. The befuddled Korean on the other end said hello again, and I kept saying shop. Finally I figured "Love bong" (love room) and he said "Oh. Okay, okay." and promptly hung up which I can only hope meant he was on his way down.

Sure enough about four seconds later I hear the sweet sounds of motorbike and in walks a clean cut friendly Korean who sees me and lights up from ear to ear. Single, lone, foreign woman surrounded by dildos. How many wet dreams am I satisfying at the moment? I have no idea.

I point to the toy I don't want and ask how much. He says 45 thousand. I expected this. 45 thousand is roughly equivalent to about 45 bucks American, and there is no way in hell I'm paying $45 for a dildo that was once used by Catherine the great. Well no, if it could be shone it had been used by Catherine I might be willing to part with that much, but really you get the idea. I complain no and ask for something cheaper, still with the toy I want in mind but not yet pointing that one out. I know I'm going to have to bargain to get the sex toy I want. This is because in Korea the mark up on toys is about triple what one would pay in the states. Low demand, lower supply, a sellers market and why I place obscene orders on amazon figuring that the cost of shipping is worth the modern selection.

I ask for something cheaper and he points to a couple of dime store bullet vibes encased in blue plastic. I think those might be at least 1985, but I'm not sure. These are $25 he tells me. Yeah, right, I think, and that original John Huge you got back there is at least $125. I say it's too much and I want a dildo. Oh, dildo, he smiles knowingly and looks me up and down. A dildo, sure he takes my hand and since I'm trying to bargain I don't punch him and let him pull me the two inches to the overpriced rabbit vibes and try to convince me that this is what I want. The boxes are so encrusted with dust you can't even tell what brand o'rabbit they are. I ask him how much and it's a number not worth quoting since even Dr. Ruth doesn't charge that much for her trademark toys.

I drag him back the four and a half steps in the increasingly hot and humid sex shop and point to the toy I want for my friend. How much, I ask. $40 he says. We have made progress; he knows I'm not looking for over forty. I say I'll give him twenty five. He laughs and flashes his teeth at me. I smile and say come on, twenty five. No, he says I can't do it. Right, I think, because obviously this stuff is flying off the shelves. He shakes his head. Forty he says again. I open my wallet and pull out three crispy tens and say $30. He says okay and wraps up the toy for me. As he is wrapping he asks me where I'm from. I say I'm an American. "Oh, yes," he says, "I see lots of American women here." I bet boy-howdy he must.

I thank him politely for the toy and prepare to walk out put he stops me with a hand on the shoulder and puts a Chinese herb drink in my hand. Mushroom juice, for your libido, I smile and thank him and head of the store thinking my libido hardly needs any more juice.

I walk a little further before I hit a cab to head for the party and think about the experience. It makes me miss the seedy dens if inequity that I used to frequent in Kenosha, the wall to wall porn warehouses, the carding, the dirty looks, the smell of unwashed sex, body odor, and latex that filled the stores that made you feel like a sleaze or the bright garish lights, pink feather boas and pounding club music of the places run by your friendly neighborhood transvestite who would talk endlessly with you about which color of dildo is most satisfying. Someday maybe Korea will catch up and recreate those same palaces of porn. In the meantime I'll thank the girls who don't bring their toys because it provides me with extra amusement to pick up toys for stories like these.

19 comments:

Marshall Kirkpatrick said...

That's a great story! I can't believe no one has posted a comment here about it yet! Keep up the good work!

Saradevil said...

Well, people are busy and generally don't always have time. I appreciate, however, that you took the time to both read and comment.

kodeureum said...

My strange obsession used to be with the cleverly disguised condom packaging at the major supermarkets such as Homeplus. Various brightly-coloured little boxes with happy cartoon characters on them but nowhere a mention of the contents. One could only surmise the surprise inside by the proximity on the shelf display to other delicate articles of toiletry.

The condoms themselves are actually great if you slice your thumb and need to keep the bandage you put on it from falling into the kimchi-bokkeumbap you're preparing. :-)

Saradevil said...

Wait, you can get a Korean condom on your thumb? I didn't think most of them were even big enough for that trick!

Anonymous said...

I may be going to South Korea soon and I was wondering if I should take my vibrator. I am only hesitant because I am afraid it will be found in my luggage! Has anyone had any problems getting their toys there without discovery?!

Saradevil said...

I've never heard of anything like that happening. While in Korea I have flown in and out several times. In my checked luggage on those numerous occasions I've had didlos, vibrators (plug into the wall, bullet, dil/vibes), restraints, blindfolds, chains, riding crops, cuffs of all kinds, condoms, and lubricant. I've yet to have anyone care.

Honestly just take the batteries out of any battery operated toys so they don't go off in your luggage. You will have no problems.

David said...

That was a totally awesome story. Great work explaining it in full. I lived in Korea for 4 years and enjoyed every moment of it. If I can't find a job back here in Canada I might be heading back. Keep up the great work with your blog.

Anonymous said...

You know its great story and all but dont keep the location a secret some of us other people might be interested in picking things up. please let us know where the good shops are.

Anonymous said...

Haha this is an awesome story. I found this story while doing a Google search trying to find sex shops in Korea. Know where any are in Bundang?

Rebecca said...

Serious where are these stores. I have been here a few months and the toys I brought with are getting worn out and I am curious to see for my own eyes these little hidden treasures.

OoIITIIoO said...

Ok, so, yeah your story was an awesome adventure; thanks for sharing. But now I need you to maybe point me in the direction of some of these sex shops. I frequent Busan, and I just now thought, "where are the sex shops?". Help! I have yet to find them. I here there is one somewhere in the "Sukdeung area" after searching on the net. Nice writing, awesome story. I will be checking in on your blog from now on. Maybe my wife will enjoy reading your post as well. Bye and THX!

Saradevil said...

@OoIITIIoO and Rebecca

Sex shops in Korea are really not hard to find. Two areas where you can always run into them are near hotel districts or near any busy downtown college type area.

They almost always have windows that have been painted yellow with red text on it, and a red heart, sometimes with a bow and arrow in it.

I should write up my most recent random sex shop adventure as I have more.

There are plenty of places to buy sex toys though, as long as you are willing to search them out.

Anonymous said...

Completly true story!!! I'm in Korea now and having the same problem. Where to find this bloody shop :)

Saradevil said...

They are everywhere. Check the local hotel districts.

And yep, true story. All my stories are true.

AmyJane said...

There are atleast 2 of them outside of Camp Humphreys. I am here now, thinking of walking down to one and checking it out. I lef tmy toys in the states like an idiot!

Saradevil said...

Leaving toys behind happens a lot more often than people like to admit. The shops are really not that hard to find, and with more people writing about them it is getting a bit easier to spot them.

Anonymous said...

So where is the closest shop in the Soengnam area? Im just south of Seoul...

Anonymous said...

I was thinking of buying one online abroad and get it shipped here. Plus I live in a dormitory. Do you think it's a good idea??

Saradevil said...

Anonymous. You can buy them online and have them shipped....IF the total cost of your shipment is under 150,000 won and the item is marked as a health aid. Amazon is the best way to go for buying and shipping to the ROK.